One of the articles which has always been in my top 10 most read(with most hits coming from google) is “ESXi 3.5 Update 2 on a USB memory key“. I have always used win image and 7-zip to get the job done. Basically you are cloning the image to a USB drive, which is fairly easy but we could use less tools and use a fully supported method:
- Download VMware Player (it’s free and it rocks!)
Of course VMware Workstation also works.
- Download ESXi from VMware here
- Install VMware Player (next / next / finish)
- Create new VM and connect to ESXi iso
- Insert a USB flash drive
- Boot from the ESXi ISO image
- Connect the USB device to the VM and select “mass storage device”
- Select the USB drive when the “Select a Disk” screen is shown
- Next, Next, Finish
- Now your USB drive is ready to go
Keep in mind, although you install ESXi there’s no server name or IP-address assigned to the installation. This is a generic USB install which can be used in any server or easily be cloned. But then again why would you clone it when you can install it in less time.